Nov 28

Reading Reflection 14: Community-Based Research

By Tuesday at 1:30….here are some options for things on which you might reflect….

  • What do you see as the primary differences between community-based research and other types of service learning?
  • What kinds of community-based research projects might you be interested in doing with your current service learning sites?
  • What kind of community-based research is available for students within your major?
  • In the future, do you see yourself engaging in CBPR projects? Why or why not?


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  1. Noelia

    There are important differences between community-based research (CBR) and service learning such as, volunteer work. Community-based research brings together professionals, students and community members and organizations in an effort to create social change. Research professionals partner with specific communities and focus on the betterment of the conditions of its residents. Contrary to other types of research which is focused on gathering data that doesn’t necessarily have direct community enhancement value CBR brings community members, who were previously thought of as ineffective or of little value, into center stage along with Researcher and student and addresses important issues facing the community. By researching and producing valuable information that is useful to the community in question, researchers and students alike embark on a journey that is not only beneficial to the researcher, but more importantly, to the people who are the most impacted.

    Volunteering our time to an organization is valuable and beneficial on many levels, and like CBR it builds relationships, which becomes a vehicle that brings about change. However, unlike CBR volunteering lacks the research component which is essential when the goal is creating social change on a larger scale.

    Personally, the CBR I could see myself getting involved in would have to be with education in low SES communities. This includes after school programs, literacy, and parent education and involvement. This topic is very broad and poses many dilemmas and have much space for improvement. Another area of interest are the community programs already present in my community and their effectiveness, or lack thereof.

  2. George Goodman

    I think some interesting community-based research projects could be done with Share Our Selves Orange County. I think research about what type of people volunteer in medical services and social services at Share Our Selves Orange County could give the organization some information on who volunteers, so they know who to target when they need extra volunteers for special events like the Thanksgiving food drive. Another research opportunity involves finding out the geographic areas that people who use Share Our Selves services come from. This would help the organization pinpoint where it is best to inform the public about their services. This could easily be done because the food slip forms we collect on Monday mornings states where the person lives. These are both research projects that could use some students who have taken marketing classes. I think another great project would be to research what members of the community provide donations to Share Our Selves. There could be research on monetary donations and tangible donations such as food and medical equipment. This kind of research being published could enhance the resources that Share Our Selves has to work with. In terms of monetary donations, this could possibly increase the operating budget and lead to improved services and even new facilities. This is also business related as it takes a look at how much corporations and wealthy individuals will spend on charity to build goodwill in the surrounding community.

    In the future I see myself engaging in community based research projects because I know that the research has the possibility of impacting many in the community. That research can actually make a difference in someone’s life, whether it’s putting food on a family’s table or giving children the chance to play soccer on a new field after-school.

  3. Alejandro Barraza

    I believe the primary difference between community-based research (CBR) and other types of service learning is that CBR attempts to create social change directly, and other types of service learning attempts to create social change indirectly. CBR is simply a research model that is meant to unveil social injustices, and then provide solutions to these social injustices. A researcher conducting CBR begins with a research question and method finding the answer to this research question, then the researcher gets his data through observations, questionnaires, or other typologies, and he/she ends with data that will support or go against his suggestion for social change. CBR is essentially a process that is meant to dive into communities, find injustices, and then provide solutions. Similarly, service learning also creates social change, but it does so indirectly. For the past year, I have been volunteering in the Anaheim Achieves program that is meant to give under privileged children the assistance needed to do well in higher grades and instill the idea of higher education. This program realizes there is a social injustice in our current school system, and it provides a solution which are strict and accepted guidelines for higher learning. However, my service learning is guided and influenced by the program and I am making a social change that it is not following a method and as a result it is not academically accepted. CBR is led by professionals and follows an academic research method resulting in its’ academic acceptance, in contrast my service learning is simply data that these professionals can use in their research.
    Upon reflection, I would be interested in working a CBR that would revolve around the topic of teaching styles and their effectiveness. One thing that I noticed during my time at the Anaheim Achieves program was that each of the group leaders had a distinct teaching style in relation to authority. One of the group leader’s authority was associated with a nice and lenient teaching style, another group leader’s authority arouse from a rule bounded teaching style, and a third group leader’s authority came from a dictatorship teaching style. My research question would be: What type of teaching style results in a class of students that understand the rules and follow them because they accept the rules? The method that would result in answering this question would be two hours of observation of in each of the group leaders classes. I would also interview each of the teachers with the goal of eliciting information of why their teaching style evokes a unique authority. After gaining the results, I would write a paper supporting a certain teaching style with evidence. And I would end this CBR by communicating my results not only to these teachers, but also to officials controlling the Anaheim Achieves program.
    In the future, I do not see myself doing CBR because I am more inclined to service learning. I believe there is not enough interaction to the populations that are being studied in CBR’s, but in service learning you are simultaneously interacting with the people you want to help and becoming a better person.

  4. Dillon Gamboa

    I think the big difference between Community Based Research (CBR) and Service Learning (SL) is the more hands on work such as volunteering. For CBR you are out in the field learning about the environment that you are studying, but not really taking an active role in it such as SL. SL allows you to volunteer is specific programs and grow as a person and you won’t be on one site for a long time. You get to develop a one on one relationship whereas CBR you are bringing together not only yourself, but students/professors of the academic level and the community together. When doing CBR you have a goal of social change/action and service learning is more of the chance for you to become more aware and get more involved.

    For me, I don’t think I can engage in CBR because as much as I like learning about the community and how I can help it, CBR is just not the thing for me. I prefer service learning where I can experience different fields of the community, but at the same time still learn about the community. I just think volunteering your time is the best thing to do because it is more one on one. Besides, I don’t think I want to wait around for the results because I would be pretty eager to see if my research is/was correct.

  5. Diana Garcia

    The main difference I see between community-based research and service learning is the extent of their influence on the community. According to Stoecker, the difference is that community based research is based on social change and is focused on community involvement to enhance social justice. I, however, think this can be said about service learning as well. I am currently volunteering for (WYSE) Women and Youth Supporting Each other and our goal is to create social change by reaching out to middle school girls and provide them with the resources needed to achieve success in their transition to high school and promote higher education. Both community based research and service learning have an impact on the community, it is just at a different level. In my work with WYSE, I have one-on-one interactions with the girls and have an impact on them directly while community based research on the other hand is focused on a broader level and impacts more people over a larger period of time. There are more people working on a community based research project but that does not mean that you will always be working besides someone like you would in service learning.

    I am not sure if I will contribute to community based research, maybe if I work with a professor who is conducting research. I prefer to do service learning since I am able to see results immediately compared to community based research. Since research is involved, community based research is much more formal and has more steps to it such as coming up with a question and methods to answer the question. Because many of these methods include observation or other ways to generate data there is less time to actually work hands-on and interact with the community. Service learning allows students to put into practice the theories they learn in class and really understand their impact in real life.

  6. krystin uyema

    The primary difference between community-based research (CBR) and other types of service learning is that it is based on students being involved in research to promote change. It’s a joint project between professors and/or students and the community. It started out by encouraging students to do volunteer work in poor neighborhoods and soon after faculty started incorporating service activities into their courses. Goal is to save jobs and improve worker satisfaction and enhancing social justice and change by changing the way institutions carry themselves out. Because research is done in universities and local community colleges, many times colleges collaborate their knowledge they have gained through research. Many times CBR involves more than just research—it composes of much more in order to make the social change happen.
    With my current service learning site the types of CBR that I could possibly be interested in is increasing the level of education in low-income neighborhoods. It would involve doing research on why in lower income neighborhoods students do more poorly in school. In the future I could see myself doing service learning more because I am not working with a professor or researcher at the time. To me it seems that service learning is easier to access and do than CBR because CBR has many steps to it.

  7. Ai-Thuan Nguyen

    I think the main difference between community-based research and other types of service learning is that CBR usually last longer. CBR has a goal that they are working towards and everyone who is part of the project pitches in their ideas. The people involved are there to change the community for which they came from and the amount of time they would put into the research is uncertain. Other types of service learning such as volunteering is short term in my opinion. Th people usually do the part that is assigned to them without asking questions. Their opinions may also not be well received, which is completely opposite of how the information was to be received by CBR members

    Since I am a Biology major, there are a lot of CBR that is going on in the surrounding cities. I remember some of the panelists that came in that talked about conservation of water. I could get involved in that trying to purify toxic chemicals that has been in the waters for years or research on how to prevent the loss of seaweed in the ocean. There are also other CBR based on diseases and health issues that I can be a part of.

    In the near future, I do not think I can be a part of any CBR. I may be able to help here and there but the time devoted to these projects are too much for me to handle. It would certainly be nice for me to be able to participate in one of these projects in the future though.

  8. Patricia Chiu

    At my service learning site, I am currently working on a project called the Start! Walking Path. I realize now after having read the Stoecker reading that I was engaging in the research aspect of CBR. In the first several weeks, I was researching my service learning site’s website to learn more about the services that my service learning site offered to their constituents and to learn more about the constituents that I would be serving. The purpose of my project was to take part in steps that would lead to the implementation of a walking path. To aid in the completion of the goal, I was required to conduct research and make a handout that would be used in a meeting. I, then, read science journals published by my site and by others of academia and health magazines so as to get more information on the benefits of exercising outside. Because I took the Writing 39C Argument and Research class last year, I was able to peruse the internet articles posted on the site’s website and scientific papers and write a handout, with the sole purpose of informing and persuading my audience to implement a walking path at the destination of my choosing. Because I want to remain at my site at least until the implementation of this path, I will probably be engaging in more CBR projects. The CBR project that I would engage in might involve engaging in interviews with possible constituents of the walking path. With this information, I would analyze the information obtained and report back to my site supervisor regarding the results of the interview.

  9. Jennifer Lazaro

    The main difference between community based research and other type of service learning is that service learning done in the community do not usually have the same structured background like community based research: It does not have a connection to research, it does not promote the discovery and use of multiple methods gained through research and service learning and finally service learning does not always focus on social action, social change and social justice. All these are key points that make the difference between community based research and service learning. In one we research and become aware and implement new methods to help out, while the other one just goes in like any type of volunteer work and becomes aware of certain topics that have been taught.
    I am interested in working with community based research projects that implement the importance of combating inequalities in schools. But since I am currently working with an organization that gives free wheelchairs to 3rd world countries, I would like to go more in dept how to help out and make a difference outside the U.S., such as Farmer did in Haiti. At this time, I am interested in all these topics, but I do see myself engaging in a community base project in the future because that is what I am aiming for as a future career.

  10. Elim Loi

    I think one of the primary differences between community-based research and other types of service learning is that it might seem behind the scenes or not directly influencing a cause. The tasks of researchers may also seem less of actual compassionate social interactions or service but more through knowledge and with rationality. It involves high levels of organization, information, and planning to effectively carry out service projects and other types of service learning.
    In my current service learning site, Legal Aid Society, it might be interesting to find out how many people are being sued or trying to sue but can’t afford to carry out certain processes or do not know how to continue in their cases. We could look for more lawyers and find out which of them deal with which kinds of cases and are willing to assist these clients and pair them up accordingly. We could try to find out how many people from different areas are struggling with the legal situations they are in or may not know about legal aid and advertise it more in those areas or have representatives sent there to meet with those clients to assist them.
    I definitely see myself engaging in community-based research projects in the future. i am organized and would want to make sure that the service i do will be effective to those i am doing it for in the places i do it. Something possible for my major, pubic health science, and particularly what i am interested in, optometry, might be to see what areas throughout the world can not afford eyecare and are not being helped as much as other areas. I would need to figure out how many people in that area would be expected to show up if i went on a trip to set up a clinic so we could bring enough eyeglasses or other equipment. Researching and being well prepared is a staple for any service learning!

  11. Karina Venegas

    CBR is focused on creating a social change in a community by doing research and from that research developing a strategy, while service learning is more about helping the community as well as a learning experience to the student. In CBR the main focus is being able to bring social change and justice to the community, it can take years sometimes though, which is hard especially for students who graduate before the project in the community is even done. Also, CBR allows knowledge from everyone, incluiding the professor, student and the community, which sometimes service learning doesn’t really allow for that to happen.

    CBR that I could do with my service learning site could be perhaps research on culture related health behaviors that can lead to heart disease in the Latino community in the OC. Research on whether or not they exercise regularly, eat healthy, the availability of healthy food nearby, etc. Personally, I’m not much of a reasearcher so I don’t think I would be able to do CBR; however, I would like to work on creating programs based on the results of the research and on education people about heart disease in this case.

  12. Anthony La

    Community Based Research is similar to service learning in the sense that both have goals to improve the community. However, some critics of service learning say that it merely centers around students doing charity work and argue that because it is centered in the university rather than the community that it maintains the unequal relationship between campus and community. Furthermore it has also been historically limited to the teaching mission of higher education, meaning that research faculty have not given a chance to join.
    CBR on the other hand is centered on social change and is community focused, changing the way institutions must act and think about themselves. It involves doing research and in a sense I believe, as oppose to service learning attacks deeper root problems in the community. For instance the article gives an example and mentions that if you want to stop the upstream factory from poisoning your water then not only do you need to do research on the water quality, but you also have to organize the residents, raise funds to pay lawyers, lobby elected officials or get the attention of the press and a myriad of other activities. In other words, CBR is about promoting social change and in turn bestows a fairly permanent solution to the problem and not merely a band aid.
    In a perfect world everybody would want to be involved in CBR projects. For me personally I don’t think i have the patience to do the research and the other activities necessary to promote lasting social change. I’d much rather do service learning and help individuals at a personal level where I know for certain that i’m making a difference in someone’s life. Albeit the impact may not be as pervasive as CBR, if everyone did their share then in the aggregate it would also promote change.

  13. Natasha Zubair

    Community based research is when members of a community work together to create and carry out specific research projects. For example, when Rosa Parks tried to find a way to implement the Brown v. Board of Education school integration decision. It’s a bit different from service learning because service learning is more hands on as it focuses on working directly with the community. People that participate in service learning projects can learn, reflect, and teach their skills to other members of the community as well. Since I will be taking Uni Studies 100 next quarter, I know that I will be taking part in community based research- preferably in the Educational field since that is one of my minors. I would like to work with schools in lower income areas and do research to figure out what aspects regarding Education can be improved in those areas. I would also like to learn more about what makes effective after school programs since after 3pm, some kids don’t have safe places to go to where they can be productive and successful.

  14. Stephen Mendez

    I see the primary difference between community-based research and service learning is that service learning is more focused a personal development of the self and seems to be about self exploration and learning about the world in which you live through introspection and work experience in a particular field. Service learning has you work in a particular organization, usually but not limited to volunteer work. Through this work and the interactions with the members who work with them through the organization, the person learns about himself and the issues around him/her.
    With community based research there is learning but the main relationship is between a trained “expert” and the community. The community is fully integrated in the research procedure. The methodology of research is the focus, and there it is a more iterative process.
    I would be interested in researching the academic performance of the children in Kidworks and the different socio and economic factors which have a heavy influence in their success. There is also plenty of room for research in what kind of impact the after-school programs have on the impoverished children which Kidworks tends too.
    Within my major there are many fields in which people can become involved in community based research. Biological sciences has a large range in which it can be applied: animal based research, microbiological research, genetics research, etc. A large majority of the CBR in biological sciences deals with teaching children in public schools. I’m not sure if i see myself engaging in CBR in the future for my major, but more than likely I will because I plan on going to medical school so not only would it look good for my application but it would also prepare me for work in graduate school. I am not the biggest fan of research but I could possibly be interested in doing community based research.

  15. Rachel Berman

    The question of community-based research available within my major stumps me. I am not sure if dance has such a formal kind of research to be classified as CBR besides the dance science research that takes place. It’s possible that a lot of the research that is done is actually community based research. Most of the activities we do are as a community and while it may not fit into the model in the same way it is indeed CBR because it involves research professionals working with students and with the community. Large scale performance productions and process based work would classify as having this sort of organization in its collaborative nature. An example of this kind of work on a large scale might be artists coming together to conduct a performance for the olympics that is intended to unite and inspire the world. It is sometimes hard for people to call this sort of work “research” but in every work that is created the choreographer is researching a number of different ideas and overall finding an effective way to convey a message, feeling, or image.

    Aside from dance, I am very interested in education and would be interested in doing CBR at the school I am teaching in Santa Ana. They have a very involved principle and great teachers, yet they need to spend so much time teaching the students english that many don’t get science or social studies classes until 5th grade. There are aids coming in and out of the classroom at all times and the organization feels chaotic. I would wonder if this is the best way to give these students an education. CBR would allow me to work with professionals and community members that look at the situation from many different angles besides my own and could give a better idea of the issues and possible solutions.

  16. Alexis Utanes

    There are different kinds of community-based research projects that can be implemented by Share Our Selves. For instance, one idea for CBR is to going into places with low socioeconomic status and high poverty within areas surrounding the clinic and see if they know about SOS and all of their free services. We can also find out from those who do know about SOS’ services why they do not want to receive them. This will lead to better outreach and it will lead to more people receiving services. Another possible CBR is to study why there is a lasting preconception that there is not poverty or homelessness in Orange County. It is true that there are many affluent neighborhoods and prosperous businesses located in Orange County, but as I learned during my service learning, many cannot afford to live here but cannot afford to move. Even if they work 2 or more jobs, they earning only minimum wage and when rent is so high, it leave a minimal amount of money for other expenses. Perhaps if this inaccurate misconception is the reason behind many possible contributors lack of donations, conducting this CBR could help clear the issue.

    I do not see myself participating in community-based research projects in the future because I never had any interest in partaking in research. However, I think CBR can be very helpful in the process of developing programs and improvements to existing programs within non-profit organizations. CBRs discover what works and what does not work in applying interventions on certain populations, and what is the best approach to take. This is important in any service learning program because you want to know what is the best way to go about helping people.

  17. Kevin J. Son

    The primary difference between community-based research and other types of service learning is being able to volunteer yourself to research things that can make a difference in the future. In community based research you are more engaged with professors and students. I believe Service learning is more of an active role than Community based research. Community based research is applied in college courses and brings students, professors, and communities together. Also, community based research usually focuses on one main topic, while Service learning you get to volunteer in many different situations and won’t be focusing on just one main topic/situation. Service learning has a wide range of opportunities and is a great way to grow as a person and get involved in your community. I believe service learning gives an individual an open door of opportunities, while community based research is more of a closed door project.
    I prefer doing service learning activities because I love being engaged in services and they usually have many opportunities where I can learn many new things, instead of just focusing on one topic. Community based research to me feels like a limited learning experience because I feel that you are given limited resources. But service learning has many open doors and has great outcomes in the end. Volunteering your time to service learning sites is one of the best feelings and experiences. I got the full feeling, experience, and love for service learning sites through this class. I finished my service hours at Share Our Shelves for the class requirement, but I am going to keep continuing my service at Share Our Shelves because I honestly loved every moment of the experience.

  18. Andre Navarro

    At my volunteer site (KidWorks), I defiantly see a potential for community-based research projects. I would like to implement some sort of science training classes. KidWorks is an after school center where children preschool-grade 12 can come too for tutoring and academic help. After tutoring a few times, I have noticed that the middle school and high school students are a lot more disinterested in academia (not all but a good amount) which is sad; however, not surprising. After looking at some of their homework I noticed it seemed to be more busy work than something actually worthy of a learning tool. It’s no wonder why these kids don’t do as well as some. A lot of them (middle school thru high school) are highly intelligent and are very mature, despite their non-academic behavior. I kept wondering; would these kids continue, to take school so light heartedly, if they thought about it more like a job rather than a childish obligation? Then I thought about something I might like to try: An after school program that was treated more like a job/career than that of a non-profit after school program geared toward childish activities. The kids would interview, be hired, receive a “paycheck” and be able to get fired. This may sound a little radical but I feel like these kids are exposed to very adult world, therefore learning in an adult environment and expected to act like one (with reason) would be more suitable than trying to learn in a child’s environment.
    Personally being a science major, I would like to set up a research facility run by graduate students across the STEM fields and have the kids come in and actually do some real work to see what this mysterious world of science is all about. Of course science isn’t as entertaining for everyone, which is why I think more facilities as such, should exist for other career types. I know that there is a government initiative to gain more minority student participation in the STEM fields that provide incentives, which is why I think that this might be possible someday.
    I certainly see myself engaging in community based research projects someday.

  19. Jessica Yen

    Community-based research (CBR) differs from service learning because it emphasizes community control over the partnership on research activities that further community goals. There are three basic principles of CBR: For one, it is basically partnership between researcher and the community members. Secondly, the research promotes methods of discovery and use of knowledge. Third, its goal is enhancing social justice. Besides research, CBR is also about building relationships between community members, managing conflicts and promoting change. An example of CBR can be seen in its origin. The most important and unrecognized influence on CBR in the United States is the Highlander Research and Education Center, is when Congress wanted to racially integrate labor organizing. Another example of CBR is in the 1950s when Kurt Lewin conducted research to increase worker productivity and satisfaction. All of these projects are utilized to do research that will hopefully have results that will benefit the community and to improve society.

    In comparison, service learning is geared more towards academics. For instance, during the presidential election of Regan and Bush, many thought that poor people were too ignorant to vote and that students didn’t care about politics. To solve these issues, faculty members encouraged students to do volunteer work in poor neighborhoods to better understand the realities of race and oppression. Through this, students had more meaning in their education and became more aware of what was taking place in society.

    A community-based research project that I am interested in doing with my current service learning site at the Early Child Education Center is to learn about child aggression. I would like to learn more about the differences in gender display of aggression and why these differences exist. Also, I want to learn about how friendships are made and why some children become anti-social. I am very intrigued in these topics because one day I want to be an educator and I want to be knowledgeable in these realms so I can know what to expect.
    The community cased research available for my major is endless. For any majors under the school of Social Ecology, students are mandated to do one hundred hours of field work in any of the school approved sites. Some of the sites include tutoring, helping out at an afterschool program, working in a lawyer’s office, shadowing a police officer, or counseling. All of these sites are available to volunteers and are great for testing out the waters for a future occupation or simply to put experience on a resume.

    In the future, I want to be involved in a CBR project because I want to be even more involved with the community besides service learning. I think CBR projects will allow me to meet leaders of social change and they can show me the ropes on what CBR is truly about and to give me advice. Additionally, I can meet others like me who are interested in aiding the community and promoting social justice.

  20. Cindy Arias

    In working with the Legal AId society my eyes have opened up in regards to the lack of legal help and the uneven distribution of justice that many individuals in our community have witnessed. I would love to continue community based service learning by participating in legal clinics that the LASOC might have (which are Fridays by the way). Being hispanic, I think that it is important that we always go back to our communties and help out those who are in similar positions that we grew up in and much of the latino population have not been educated on the way that our legal system works which is very important in understanding the rights that we all we have. From my other internships, this service learning experience is definitely different in regards to the one on one attention that every indiviudal recieves. I as able to speak to individuals answer their questions and yet be personable and friendly, which unfortunately is something we don’t all recieve through phone operators or informational agencies. I definitely enjoyed this experience and I feel that I will continue with these kind of experiences but perhaps through other organizations in order to broaden my experiences. I would love to continue community based learning in areas that deal with mental health and the distribution of services as well.

  21. Nirav Bhardwaj

    Community Based Research projects are generally projects which look to see how a greater societal change can be made to society through the use of service learning. Service learning and volunteer work on the other hand are more about individual development on a smaller scheme of things.

    Within my major, I am sure there are many opportunities for community based research projects since I am a business major and through business and economics peoples lives can be dramatically improved. Thinking of that, I believe it would be a great idea for me to brainstorm some of the opportunities for community based research in the business field. I am the co-president of the Merage Undergraduate Student Association and feel that after taking this class and learning more about service and community based research projects, I want to make it a goal for my organization to get involved with at least one community based research project by the end of the school year.

    I think one good example of this would be to look into the different aspects of socio-economic differences within Santa Ana and specifically how these differences affect the students. While I am sure this has been done at a broader level, it would be nice to focus on different aspects such as, what can be done to educate more individuals about saving money, keeping budgets, and expanding into other opportunities to provide for the family.

    1. David Moghissi

      Agreed. It would be interesting to see how community based research could educate people about how to better cope with America’s economic turbulence.

  22. Dulshani BalasuriyaArachchi

    I think the primary differences between community-based research and other types of service learning is that in community based research a group of people (professional researchers, students etc.) who are interested in a specific issue in a community come together to study it in depth. They only focus on one specific issue and try to find correlations and cause and effect relationships through different tests and observations over a long period of time. In other types of service learning such as volunteer service, people tend to volunteer their time and money to help others. They do not necessarily spend time trying to find out what caused the problem or try to study the people who they are helping. The volunteers focus on how to get the people out of their helpless conditions. I completed my service learning with KidWorks organization. I think there are many different community-based research opportunities there. On e such project I would be interested in is studying how financial conditions and home environment affects the kids’ study skills and academic success.

  23. Brenson M Yu

    What do you see as the primary differences between community-based research and other types of service learning?

    The grassroots of service learning came from the unstable sixties in reference to the reading. During the time there were problems in the urban city with corrupt politics, affirmative action and increasing urban poverty in the cities. World poverty, and helping people in distress, became a hot topic because many people felt politics did nothing to address problems outside of America’s own problems. People I think, took it upon themselves to do something to help out the common man, especially in poor neighborhoods and third world countries. Service learning I believe is more involved in student movement groups interested in putting practice with what academia and information they have learned about poor people, and those disadvantaged. The research for service learning is a one time application, involvement from the standpoint of the academia, in which they follow through by how they feel a change can be made. A big difference is there is no reformatting in mission, and procedures.

    From the reading, community-based research is structured into technical procedures. CBR can be thought of as experential procedures which follow the principles of: finding the question, establishing a method, doing the research, analyzing the data, and interpreting the results. In the reading CBR is powered by participation. The process of collaboration and interview within a stigmatized community is way to understand missing and new perspective that might be an oversightfrom observation. Mainly, CBR research does not challenge issues and criticisms of power relationships like activism or service learning. It instead builds on knowledge learned from experential research in communities, and applies theory and practice to create social change. For example, Highlander research in the hills of Tennessee studied quality of life among the community’s relationship with state government and companies.

    The main difference in community-based research and service learning is the approach. Community-based research is more angled towards social change inspired by community response and experential study. On a different angle, service learning is a response from the academic community, in which outsiders take interest, form groups, and feel compelled to take part in activism, and practice what they have learned to help out those in need.

  24. Hyun Joo Lee

    The primary difference between community-based research (CBR) and other types of service learning seems to be the focus each of them mainly concentrates on. A CBR is conducted through the collaboration between researchers and community members. A CBR is goal-orientated and it does so by educating the community with limited resources and promoting social justice for the community’s well-being. However, service learning allows the participants to teach, learn and reflect after engaging with their community. Under some circumstance, service learning is classified as an experiential education because both of the receiver and giver can gain valuable experience through a service learning program or project. On the contrary, CBR is focused to change the targeted community for the better through doing research. Researchers of a CBR would be defining a question, organizing a methodology, collecting data, and reporting the results. Often time, the researchers and the community members would contradict one another because of their conflicting interests. Another major difference between CBR and service learning programs or projects is that the researchers of CBR are able to receive funding for their work, but the community members have to volunteer their hours and not everyone has that much luxurious time to do so.

    When it comes to service learning, I am volunteering my time to reach out to children at my current service learning site instead of the other way around, and I do not think I will prefer CBR over service learning at this moment because in service learning, you can really see the difference you are making in someone’s life and you are able to give direct help to the community in need. I know that CBR is very important, and perhaps if there were more interaction between the community and the researcher in CBR, it may be more appealing, but based on the article, it does not seem to be the case, and my personal interest would also involve interaction with the community I work with. But in the long run, one cannot go without the other, and I think there needs to be both CBR and service learning to see greater changes and impacts.

  25. David Moghissi

    One primary difference between community-based research (CBR) and other types of service learning is the academic orientation of the former task. CBR often involves experts from a particular field developing a mutual relationship with an outside community to pursue two ends. One aim is to increase knowledge in a particular area while the other aim is to apply this knowledge for the betterment of the partner-community. This relationship is very symbiotic and can produce extremely valuable results for everyone concerned. Also, CBR has the potential to lead to policy alternations on a variety of levels; community advocates can use data derived from CBR studies as evidence in support of their causes.

    I would like to look into doing a CBR project with my current service learning site, the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. I believe that a study exploring the amount of active lawyers who regularly do pro-bono work could benefit the legal profession. It would also be interesting to determine what types of lawyers complete the most pro-bono or community work.

    As a political science major, I have heard a lot about CBR projects that cover voting and general electoral processes. I think that in the future I could see myself engaging in a CBPR project because I enjoy working with people, gathering data, and applying what I learn.

  26. Justyne Catacutan

    I believe that community-based research is a lot more extensive than service learning. I feel that is more involved in analysis as well as involvement. While I do feel like service learning is more about the experience on the individual. SO I feel that community-based is more about the social change at a general. I feel that CBRs can be found in plenty of majors. It is really about taking the initiative to find it. Right now, I am pretty much undecided so I am not really sure what specific major has to offer in the field of CBR. But like I said, even though there are plenty of opportunities, it is really about the individual actually wanting and committing to a project in order to get the full experience. I feel like I would love to get involved in a CBR because I do have plenty of experience in volunteering and now service learning. Seeing that I have not been involved in my service learning for that long, I honestly feel that I have not gotten the full affect of it, meaning that I do feel like it is similar to volunteering in some aspect. Getting involved in a CBR project seems like a new experience that I will be able to utilize because I will be taking part of a social change.

  27. Natalie Chau

    I think the primary difference between community-based research projects and other types of service learning is that community-based research (CBR) tries to create social change and solve social injustices. Other types of service learning, on the other hand, also tries to solve social injustice but mainly through volunteer work and not research. CBR projects involve a greater number of people such as students, professors, and even the community. They work together to observe and plan ideas and then research for ways that will be better for the community. Students will work with professors and other professionals such as researchers and analysts. After researching the community and what needs to be done, the students and professionals will carry out their ideas and wait for the results to see if their ideas were effective.

    I think there are a lot of CBR projects that are available for Bio majors. Many of the CBR projects deal with research in environmental microbiology, public health, toxicology, medicine, and science education, and many more. Although CBR projects seem very interesting, I do not think I can engage in a CBR project in the future because it takes a lot of time and patience to wait for results and outcomes. I like to do things more hands-on especially volunteering and helping out directly. To me, CBR seems more behind the scenes but I know they also get involved with the community a lot. It just seems like CBR is more research. Maybe in the further future I might get involved in a CBR project, but as of now, it does not seem very likely.

  28. Amy Sage

    * What do you see as the primary differences between community-based research and other types of service learning?
    * What kinds of community-based research projects might you be interested in doing with your current service learning sites?
    * What kind of community-based research is available for students within your major?
    * In the future, do you see yourself engaging in CBPR projects? Why or why not?

    From my perspective, it appears that CBR focuses on one issue, the cause, and possibly a solution. With CBR,research is actively conducted with the participation of the community to achieve a common goal. CBR helps to eliminate social injustices. The researchers work directly with the community members, and the community is fully aware of the research conducted, as well as the results and findings. I would imagine that CBR takes a great deal of time to conduct. The community must be contacted and willing to work with the researchers. A relationship must be built, and once results are found, I’m sure the community would like action afterwords. It seems that CBR must establish a close relationship with the community, and you can’t just break that once research is concluded. I would imagine extra time would be taken to try and resolve any remaining situations.

    On the other hand, I feel that service learning isn’t so much research based, but hands on learning in the field. You work with people to aid in a cause, but there isn’t active research being conducted. I like the hands on approach of service learning and think that it’s quite beneficial. I also think that CBR, though complicated at times, is a great way to conduct research in communities because the community has a voice, which in the past has been overlooked.

    Currently I participate in service learning at KidWorks and I really enjoy my time with the staff and children at the organization. You can read of injustices in a text book, but it is a completely different learning experience to interact with people in these situations. To be able to put a face to what you read is priceless and strikes more of an emotional chord, which in return stimulates growth in service learning and other areas. I would hope to conduct CBR at some point in my career. I understand some portions of it, but I hope to learn more while I am at UCI. I for one, applaud the acknowledgment of the community in this type of research, because in the past the community voice was seldom heard in research. This is particularly true in my Native communities, and I hope to be able to make some changes in my future.


  29. Leslie Mendoza

    As a Psychology and Social Behavior major, the types of community based research in our major includes studies within the health, social, and developmental psychology. In theory, (as I have not done any research yet), we work under the direction of a professor whose research is somewhat important to the community because it uncovers something important in our society. In example, a current study being done right now by Professor Clarke is focused on how a children’s abilities and well being are affected by their environment. Though it might be something taken for granted in some communities, further research on this topic might bring about a change within the lower income communities. It can help those environments and by studying it, it can identify the problem which could lead to a solution.

  30. Brenda Ramirez

    I really found this article interesting and have used my current service learning site as a way to conduct my own personal community based research project. Additionaly, in the future I do see myself working on a CBR project. I have already identified one for this summer. In Kenya and Tanzania communities of people have been surrounded by growing urban centers and have been reduced to smaller land areas along with reducing their access to natural resources. At the same time wildlife has also been subjected to great reduction. My goal will be to go down to communities in Kenya and Tanzania and work with indigenous members that can teach me how their ancestors coexisted with wildlife and current problems facing the animal and human communities pressured by sprawling urban communites.
    With this knowledge I want to help form policies in urban centers that affect people living in indigenous communities and help support survival of wildlife. I also hope to use this knowledge to go to another part of the world and learn from other indigenous groups and compare the way in which both groups of people coexist with animals.
    I agree and like that, according to the article, CBR is an educational tool that establishes education from “the ground up” and not lecturing from great “ivory towers” on down. I also think that at some point conducting these types of research projects compels one to become a sort of “activist”. I would like to do this research so that I can become an effective activist for improving social conditions. At the same time I also agree with the author that integrating oneself too much on the side of activism can alter the viewpoint and affect the information that will be produced in the end. I want to keep a rational viewpoint that integrates both community perspectives and outside perspectives in order to find a middle ground for progress.

  31. Kellie St. Pierre

    Community Based research involves the community to design and implement projects based on a common problem or issue. CBR exists for change within the community and works toward a set goal. CBR also promotes social justice and well-being for the community.

    The particular position I currently am holding through my service learning site, Creative Connections, is an example of community based research. The mentorship program I have been participating in is a section of a research study on implementing arts and arts guidance to the schools in the community. Because the arts have recently been a struggle for priority within schools, Creative Connections has taken the opportunity to study ways of advocating the importance back into the schools, providing students with the access to arts and the learning benefits from the arts that will supplement their existing education.

    An additional opportunity of research within my major involves artists’ power to use talent and skill for public and community research. The term research can be different from the conventional meaning. Research implies working with, learning, collaborating, experiencing, and accumulating talent and information from other artists. From a choreographer’s standpoint, their product has the power to portray researched material as well as speak loud and profound messages through a visual medium. Dance has the power to effect viewers with a type of experience that cannot be gained elsewhere. By researching a topic of social issues (which is commonly done), choreographers can develop and implement their own projects that impact social change.

    I love what I am doing with Creative Connections, and I would like to get involved with other community based research programs in the future, whether they deal with the arts or any other social issue. I think involving the community to make social change and aim for social justice and community well-being is something that I will strive for throughout my life.

  32. Nicole Fulbright

    The people who are involved in community based research and with service learning are passionate about whatever they are doing within their community. They do these activities because they care about giving back and doing good things for other people. But when you compare the two things, community based research simply takes it to another level for me. When I think of service learning, I think of volunteering on a small scale- one person going out and helping a very specific cause. This is great for everyone to do, but it is not going to cause any time of overhaul in the community. But with community based research, it is a group of people coming together within a community with the definite goal of starting something brand new. They are out to make a change in whatever way they can. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with simply volunteering some of your time on a weekly or monthly basis, I think its great that people take the initiative to go out and do that. For community based research, it takes a lot more time and effort to get the job started and sustained. Personally, I would love to be able to get involved in a community based research project in the near future because it is definitely something that i’ve never done. I feel like that is an experience from which I can learn from greatly and use the experience in the future, all while giving back to the community.

  33. omeid heidari

    I see the difference between community based research and service learning being the level of entering the filed. service learning is for younger population that wants to get their feet wet in terms of learning about community engagement and what area of engagement he or she wants to focus on in the future. The reflection portion of this is very key in understanding the service and effectively learning form it. Community based researched is more detalied and requires experience with the feild you are researching. It seems like commuynity based research stems after service learning happens and you know which population or topic you want to work with.

    Public health is very community research based. I want to work with low SES populations in improving the health deficincies and improving health education. This is a very underserved population and requires the most attendion due to their very tough SES situation. They do not have access to proper health care and at the same time do not have access to proper preventative health education which in term requires them to eventually need very invasive and expensive treatment.

    For public health majors, we have the PH195 practicum, whcih is an 8 unit field study. This would be the best opportunity to work in community based research under the direction of experienced public health officials before entering the field. .

    For the future, i see my life dedicated to community based research. My goal in life is to be a public servent and to always be giving back to my local and global community

  34. Symone Magsombol

    I think the primary difference between community-based research and other types of service learning is that CBR is catered to more academia means through partnerships with institutions, professors, and students – in particular UCI is promoted towards CBR since it is a renowned as a research university. Also, CBR involves hands out research out in an environment of the field you are conducting your study on. Service Learning (SL) is catered more towards the volunteering with an active role in participation to directly have more of hands on approach. I feel that you also have a better opportunity to get to know the people you are working with through SL work in comparison with CBR.
    If I were to be involved in CBR projects, I would want to participate in either one with Psychology study or something with Public Health field. Since I work in the Emergency Department, I would like to see the how one’s mental state could relate to their current state of health and outlook on their healing and improvement in their health.
    Currently I am a Biology Science major, however I am planning to switch into Public Health Science and double major in Psychology and Social Behavior. Interesting enough, the reason why I would like to switch is because I like the fields of research better in comparison to biology. For instance, Public Health Sciences has a required Public Health Practicum that is an outside internship / research opportunity to specialize in a CBR project of your interest. I am really looking forward to this because I have heard from a lot of my friends that this is a great experience for not only their college experience, but their future career as well.

  35. Gaurav Nihalani

    Community based research entails a collective of individuals with specific research tasks organized to bring about positive social change in a specific area of the community. This could be anything from a middle school biology class studying about ways to prevent pollution in their neighborhoods to NASA researchers figuring out ways to protect our O Zone layer. Although pure volunteer work is still extremely beneficial to communities and the specific individuals it affects, it still lacks the mission to achieve a goal dedicated to positive social change. I do not mean that volunteer work does not bring about positive social change but rather it does not have an empirical plan in place to harbor continuous positive social change. For example, if I were to go out and volunteer somewhere for a weekend and never volunteer again I would have definitely brought about a positive social change for that one weekend but I never intended to continue doing it and I never looked into what it could mean if I did. CBRPs look into what could be done to fix certain problems and the best ways to go about doing them. They allow researchers to have a real purpose behind their work rather than feeling good about their one humanitarian deed of the year. In my case, a CBRP could be something like researching preventive waste methods such as: less toxic materials, efficient waste collection, organization of waste receptacles etc.

    For my major, business economics, there are many statistical studies done on various parts of the economy. Marketing research is perhaps the exact definition of what CBRPs accomplish except in regards to profit and revenue rather than positive social change. Although marketing is a main component of a business’s research strategy they still do a lot of community work to help their image and product.

    I definitely would like to learn more about specific CBRPs in the future but I still feel that many can be misguided and therefore we need to choose specific one’s to give attention to.

  36. Jennifer Madamba

    I think that main difference between community based learning and other servicing learning projects is that people can directly connect with the community with community based learning. By doing this, volunteers can experience a direct relationship and connection the community. Who can take better care of the community than the people who actually communicates with them?

    As a volunteer at La Familia, I think I would propose some sort of research to determine what can help relationships between the families and what contributes to the problems of broken families. I would want to know what approach would help families to take better care of themselves and help them secure their relationships. In the future, I do see myself participating in such projects. I find it interesting to see how the outcomes change over time. I also want to see if this type of research can help Familia in third world countries too.

    1. Jessica Yen

      Your future project sounds interesting! It sounds correlated to Psychology and your plans sound similar to the goals of counseling!

  37. Nimrah Salim

    I think that community based research is more direct. I feel like it has a direct impact on the community and one that everyone else can see. Community based research also brings together various members of the community. For example professors, students, professionals and other volunteers.
    Service learning on the other hand, I feel like is just more of a volunteer basis.
    I would love to get involved in some type of health education for low income families. Along with SOS I have also done some volunteering with the American Diabetes Association, and to be able to teach people to how to live with diabetes and take care of it is something that I feel is really important in low income communities.
    Because my major is public health, I think that a lot of the opportunities will have to do with some type of education about health. It would also have to do with preventative medicine, and teaching people how to prevent getting sick and avoid a trip to the hospital.
    I think that CBRP’s are an important way to gain experience into a field of your choice and I can see myself participating in the future.

  38. Christine Thrasher

    Community-based research (CBR) is a unique form of service learning, in which researchers (students and professors) engage with their local community to collect data relating to a specific problem, analyze that data, and the draw conclusions from it. This form of service learning goes beyond simple service, because it involves a deep level of consideration and critical thinking, in order to discover the best way to investigate a particular community issue, in the hopes of discovering ways of improving the situation. In addition, CBR involves a close level of personal involvement with members of the community, and welcomes the experiential knowledge that everyone has to offer to the situation, instead of rejecting the opinions of those thought to be ignorant or uneducated.

    I would be interested in pursuing CBR with my service learning site, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. One possible project we could work on would be to investigate the particular patterns and causes of suicide in Orange County, and try to find effective ways of stopping it. This would involve researching current suicide rates, patterns of home environment and economic standing, mental illness, and the efficacy of suicide prevention resources that are currently available to Orange County residents. I definitely am interested in participating in some kind of CBR project in the future, hopefully in the next course for this minor.

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